Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sailing Lessons??

So learning how to sail has been one of those things on my list of "Life's To Dos" that I have had for a LONG time. I grew up spending endless summers on a lake, and we ALWAYS had a boat...but it was usually a speed boat. Of course there was the aluminum fishing boat, the pontoon experiment, the paddle boat, and now of course I have my kayaks.

With that said, I have been really wanting to get a boat of some kind for the last few years. I toyed with the idea of getting a speed boat...there are numerous GREAT examples of them on Craig's List right now for under $5k, which is what I would be looking to spend. But then I started much fun as it would be to have another motorboat of some kind, I wouldn't be able to have as much fun on it as I remember because with only Cathy and I using it most of the time, there wouldn't be much of an opportunity for me to do any water sports like skiing or tubing...or better yet, learning to wakeboard.

So I thought, what the heck, let me look at some sailboat options. I was really surprised to see the price differences between motor boats and sailboats. You can get a relatively nice 26 foot long sailboat for the same price as an average looking 120hp speed boat. I figure the difference in the prices obviously has to do with the fact that motors for boats are very expensive.

So after a bit of looking, I found a company right here in Michigan that makes and sells smaller sailboats with trailers and everything. For right around $3k you can get a brand new 14 foot sailboat from this company that looks fantasic, holds four adults, and has built in storage in a few spots on it.

So I started thinking that maybe a sailboat was a good option. The other plus side to the sailboat is that I could actually put it on a trailer and pull it with the Taurus...where a motor boat would have to be left at the cottage pretty much full time. So the motor boat wouldn't be able to be taken to many other lakes, but the sailboat would be able to be taken pretty much anywhere.

Now that I started thinking that a sailboat was a good option, I realized that I don't know much about sailing. I know you use the wind, and that by taking back and forth you can actually travel effectively into the wind, but I don't really know what all the lines, keels, rudders, and sails are for. I began looking for sailing schools here in Michigan and I found one that seems like a good one.

It's in St. Clair Shores, Michigan and it costs $300 for the two day school. When you complete the test at the end of the second day, you become an ASA Certified sailor. I sent a message to the resident sailing guru on about the class to see if it was a good option. He told me if I was interested in learning, it's a great class...and better than that, the price he said is fantastic!! The marina that he keeps his 38 foot sailboat in down in South Carolina charges $800 for the exact same class.

With all of this said, I think that maybe next spring this would be something cool for Cathy and I to do together. The class is two days long and it's very close to several hotels, so we could stay in a hotel if we wanted...but even better is that they'll let you rent a sailboat overnight and stay on the boat, which I think is a really cool option for a sailing school.

1 comment:

Doug said...

I learned to sail on one of those Sail boards. A friend of mine basically took me out to the middle of the lake and left me there and said see you back at the dock ;-)

After a few (OK, Many) false starts and attempts, which made him drag his sorry butt back out to give me some pointers... I started to get the hang of it.

Though not a real sail boat, it does give you a good appreciation of learning the wind and tack.

Of course that was like 30 years ago so I'd probably be just as pathetic now as I was then just starting out.